Business news: Omicron dominates, Cyber Monday a let-down
By Jenny McCall
13:25, 29 November 2021
Oil prices rebounded today after Friday’s meltdown as investors wait to hear if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is going to suspend its planned production increase due to the spread of the latest Covid-19 variant.
The new variant, Omicron, has sent markets into a tailspin as investors weigh the risks of the highly mutated strain, and Asia-Pacific markets extended their losses today, as fears of fresh lockdowns and border closures persisted.
Retailers in the US are expecting to see fewer sales this Cyber Monday as there are fewer deals to be had. US retailers are estimated to generate online sales of up to $11.3bn on Cyber Monday, a decline in growth from a year earlier, according to a report from Reuters.
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Business and economic news
- Shares in the Scottish soft drinks producer AG Barr rose today after the maker of Irn Bru revealed that full-year profits should be ahead of market expectations.
- Shares in the online lender Amigo Holdings fell 26.5% on the London Stock Exchange on Monday morning after the company published its latest financial results and warned it will be forced into liquidation unless a new rescue deal is approved.
Stocks: US stock index futures rose on Monday as investors rushed to take advantage of losses while awaiting more details on the severity of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
Oil: Brent crude oil futures, gained 3.6% to $75.35 per barrel (bbl) on Monday. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) advanced 4.36% to $71.12/bbl.
Gold: Gold prices moved higher on Monday as concerns over the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant offset a stronger dollar.
Forex: Friday’s shock over the new Covid variant sent markets wild but Monday was much calmer. The dollar strengthened then dipped in early European trading today, the euro fell, and the yen steadied.
Crypto: Bitcoin rebounded today after Friday’s fall. The cryptocurrency rose by 5.3%
What to watch today
In a bid to accelerate its vehicle electrification, Nissan announced it will spend 2trn yen ($17.59bn) over five years to catch up with competitors.
Brazilian airline Azul SA announced today it made an offer earlier this month to combine with Chile’s LATAM Airlines Group (LTM.SN), which is facing bankruptcy, but had reconsidered as a result of an overly high valuation.
Morning Note:— Jonathan Ferro (@FerroTV) November 29, 2021
-Stock markets bounce back
-SA says most cases are mild
-Japan bans foreign travelers pic.twitter.com/Q6ww8joDxG
A thought. While it is too early to have definitive data, early reported data suggest that the Omicron virus causes ‘mild to moderate’ symptoms (less severity) and is more transmissible. If this turns out to be true, this is bullish not bearish for markets.— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) November 29, 2021